In the reputational shadow of the better-known Portuguese wine making regions
of Alentejo and Douro, the rich offerings from the Dão are rightfully beginning to
gain more notoriety for sublime quality and consistently accessible price-points.
A case in-point, is this week’s DéClassé recommended Colheita 2010: product
of the wine-making vision of Manuel Viera, who draws on some of the very best
vine stock on the 100 hectares in the Quinta dos Carvalhais estate.
Some geographic keys to this successful terroir is that the vineyards of Dão are
surrounded on 3 sides by the Serra da Estrela, Serra do Caramulo and Serra da
Nave Mountains that offer protection from uncertain swings of Atlantic weather
systems to the west and harsh continental climate to the east. The soils here are
primarily crushed granite mixed with sand and clay. Tending to yield grapes with
fairly high levels of acidity, this provides the wine with a brightness to balance-off
the otherwise already supple, dense fruit.
A full-bodied blend built on the Touriga Nacional grape (83%), Alfrocheiro (13%)
and Tinta Roriz (4%), this has spent 12 months maturing in a combination of
French and American Oak ‘hogsheads’ (60gl. barrels). In part, these indigenous
grape varieties reference why Portuguese wine continues to display a distinct
character of ‘somewhereness’, contrary to creeping homogenization elsewhere.
As with all good Dão reds, this wine has excellent ageing potential and will hold
its prime drinking condition for up to 10 years. So, stock up on this vintage year
– winner of the 2012 International Wine & Spirit competition’s Quality Award.
QUINTA DOS CARVALHAIS COLHEITA 2010
VINTAGES – LCBO Product #13474 | 750 mL bottle
Price $ 17.95
Sugar Content Descriptor: XD
Made in: Dão, Portugal
By: Sogrape Vinhos
Release Date: Mar 29, 2014
Leading with intriguing, aromatic hints of vanilla and cinnamon, this bottling is
loaded with lush fruits, balanced off by the dry, savoury tannins. As an almost
full-bodied red, its best served with game dishes, rich stews and buttery cheese.